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  • VB to PB

    Hope this doesn't sound too stupid ),

    I am currently thinking of making a change from VB to PB for Windows.

    What I am wondering is how much of a language difference is there? How much of a difference in the user interface?

    I am not an experienced programmer and don't remember any DOS Basic. I am a little experienced with VB in that I can do the baby stuff. Visually add a control and the code necessary to make it work. Create a fully working app in the visual environment. Haven't tried to draw any windows(CreateWindow/CreateWindowEx) or anything like that yet either.

    I haven't delved into API yet. I've done some simple things SendMessage and WinHelp. That's the extent of that.

    I am happy with the VB working environment and it's ease of use and ease of programming for the controls I use, it's just the end product(numerous dependency file installation to the end users machine) that is causing me to think of making this change.

    Any comments on the similarities/differences, learning curve and your thoughts about PBDLL and PowerGEN that would help me make a decision would be appreciated.

    I have an app finished in VB that I want to distribute, however, I won't distribute it will all it's dependencies(it'll be a throw-away if I can't convert it), so if I change over to PB is there a way for me to convert my forms and/or code over to PB or will I just have to totally rewrite it?

    Thanks,

    ------------------
    Vikki

  • #2
    Yes, there is now way to convert Forms except you rewrite you Program (correct me if anybody know a way *g*)

    But, you can use a program called "Fusion". Read about it at www.bit-arts.com. This could be your solution.

    regards,
    Sven

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    Comment


    • #3
      Why "change over"? Why not exploit the powers of BOTH? - isnt it about choosing the right tool for the job?
      Ive been programming in VB since i was about 12, and here ten years later Ive found PB. I use VB for the majority of my work - and all my GUI programs (im not very good with designing forms/dialogs using code only - which is why i rely on Visual Basic's visual editor)
      I do all my demo coding in PB/CC, as its just so easy and convenient to do simple things in a command prompt without having to worry about buttons and forms etc. My smaller GUI programs I'll do in PB\DLL, but only if the GUI is very simple.
      So i think you'd be crazy to choose VB over PB, or PB over VB - use both, because they both have very different specialties. PB's compiler leaves VB's compiler for dust, but VB's GUI designer leaves PB's DDT for dust, and so on, so you cant really compare the two - they both compliment each other beautifully though!
      VB and PB are like peas and carrots, and you can do some _serious_ cooking with both of them!

      Best of luck,
      Wayne


      [This message has been edited by Wayne Diamond (edited December 05, 2000).]
      -

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sven Blumenstein:
        Yes, there is now way to convert Forms except you rewrite you Program (correct me if anybody know a way *g*)

        But, you can use a program called "Fusion". Read about it at www.bit-arts.com. This could be your solution.

        regards,
        Sven

        Hi Sven,

        I did try out the demo of Fusion. The problem is that I couldn't get it to work as advertised. However, that was a year ago so maybe I'll go check it out again.

        Thanks for you thoughts on this.



        ------------------
        Vikki

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wayne Diamond:
          Why "change over"? Why not exploit the powers of BOTH? - isnt it about choosing the right tool for the job?
          Ive been programming in VB since i was about 12, and here ten years later Ive found PB. I use VB for the majority of my work - and all my GUI programs (im not very good with designing forms/dialogs using code only - which is why i rely on Visual Basic's visual editor)
          I do all my demo coding in PB/CC, as its just so easy and convenient to do simple things in a command prompt without having to worry about buttons and forms etc. My smaller GUI programs I'll do in PB\DLL, but only if the GUI is very simple.
          So i think you'd be crazy to choose VB over PB, or PB over VB - use both, because they both have very different specialties. PB's compiler leaves VB's compiler for dust, but VB's GUI designer leaves PB's DDT for dust, and so on, so you cant really compare the two - they both compliment each other beautifully though!
          VB and PB are like peas and carrots, and you can do some _serious_ cooking with both of them!

          Best of luck,
          Wayne


          [This message has been edited by Wayne Diamond (edited December 05, 2000).]
          Hi Wayne,

          It confuses me because now I'm not sure which compiler I need. If I continue to create my GUI in VB(Can I convert the VB .frm files to PB DDT files?), what is the next step? Do I write and compile with PB/DLL or PBCC? Guess I need to go read again about the differences.

          Thanks for your reply,


          ------------------
          Vikki

          Comment


          • #6
            Vikki,

            Try my FreeDDT tool.
            It converts VB forms to several formats.
            The DDT version is the easiest to implement.
            (Then ignore the other outputs)
            Each scanned project generates at least a .DDT file with an example to get quick results.

            It only generates DDT code to add controls on a provided DDT-dialog.
            (A procedure to create the dialog is also available)
            The handling of the controls is something you need to do yourself.
            Check the samples like PBNote etc.. how to do this..

            Click the 'profile' icon above to check out my site if you want..


            ------------------
            [email protected]
            hellobasic

            Comment


            • #7
              I heard several complaints about fushion.
              Like reinstalling problems etc..


              ------------------
              [email protected]
              hellobasic

              Comment


              • #8
                @ Vikki:
                If you post your e-mail adress, I can send you a tip about Fusion ;-) Or just send me a mail: [email protected]



                ------------------

                Comment


                • #9
                  You might want to have a look at EZ GUI www.ezgui.com

                  The author (chris boss) is very active in these forums. His product makes dealing with forms a snap. Maybe not quite as easy as vb, but darn close.

                  DDT isn't bad either, though you need to be able to think of forms as text commands (e.g. put a text box at location 10, 20) instead of drawing them.

                  Per mixing vb and pb, that's ok, but it doesn't solve the original problem that you have with vb - the dependencies. If you were switching for speed reasons, this might be a good approach. But, if it's for eliminating dependencies, then you might want to look at using an all PB solution - DDT, EZGUI, whatever.

                  Best Regards,
                  Don

                  ------------------
                  --Don
                  www.basicguru.com/dickinson
                  Don Dickinson
                  www.greatwebdivide.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Vikki;

                    EZGUI was created as an alternative for VB programmers who want
                    to use PB. EZGUI apps can do things that would have required 2 or 3
                    extra OCX's (ActiveX controls) in VB. EZGUI has its own Visual
                    Designer as well.

                    Come visit our Online forum and ask our customers what they think
                    of EZGUI !

                    EZGUI 1.0 was written using PB DLL 5.0 (a plug for PB!)


                    ------------------
                    Chris Boss
                    Computer Workshop
                    Developer of "EZGUI"
                    http://cwsof.com
                    http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE]Originally posted by Edwin Knoppert:
                      [B]Vikki,

                      Try my FreeDDT tool.

                      Thanks Edwin, I will check out FreeDDT. Your site is great by the way.

                      ------------------
                      Vikki

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have to say I am very impressed with all the help you all have given today.

                        That is a plus towards purchasing PB/DLL in itself.

                        Don, I think you've hit it right on the head. For what my app does it works fairly speedy(I'll say fairly because onload it's a little slow on my P166), so right now at least speed is not an issue. However, I can see when I get into my other apps where speed will definitely be a factor.

                        Chris and Don, EZGUI looks like just what I need to be comfortable with PB/DLL. If I lose all these dratted dependencies and don't have to overload my poor brain with a lot of learning in a short period I'll be fine. From the example code on Chris' site it looks like I shouldn't have much trouble with that part at least.

                        Sven, I've emailed you to hear your thoughts on Fusion. I'll wait to make a decision on that until I hear from you. At this point no matter what it looks like I'll purchase PB/DLL and grab EZGUI(is it really free or did I miss something?) and get started on my next projects. Who knows with Edwins form tool I may be able to easily convert the existing project over to PB without a lot of trouble.

                        You guys are great and have really helped me to make my decision. As Wayne says, I won't be throwing away VB but it looks to me like my better option for right now is to use PB.

                        So, I guess you'll see me around when I run into trouble because I'm going to go ahead and at least get PB/DLL for right now.

                        Thanks to you all for all your help.

                        ------------------
                        Vikki

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Found the order page Chris and as soon as I have a look at PB I'll decide whether I need to purchase that too.

                          Thanks,

                          ------------------
                          Vikki

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Vikki;

                            Just to make sure one point is clear :

                            The Freeware DDT Visual Designer we offer is not the same thing
                            as EZGUI. It is for those who can handle the API and who prefer
                            DDT. (Yes, that is free).

                            EZGUI on the other hand is a commercial (it costs something)
                            GUI engine that allows you to build PB apps without using a
                            single API function call. You do "not" have to understand a
                            single API function to use EZGUI. EZGUI 1.0 is a 122 KB runtime
                            DLL
                            that you must ship with your PB app (royalty free).
                            EZGUI 1.0 comes with its "own" Visual Designer !

                            To appreciate how powerful EZGUI 1.0 is :

                            Both the EZGUI Visual Designer and the Freeware DDT Visual
                            Designer are themselves EZGUI apps !


                            Both Visual Designers are 100% EZGUI apps which use absolutely
                            "NO" API function calls at all. They only use EZGUI functions.



                            ------------------
                            Chris Boss
                            Computer Workshop
                            Developer of "EZGUI"
                            http://cwsof.com
                            http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Chris,

                              Yep I went back and saw the differences. I started to order PB but it does not appear they use a secure server. I had my cc info was stolen online last year when purchasing software on a non-secure server so I'll call them tomorrow to order PB and I think I have pretty much decided to purchase EZGUI so I'll be doing that in just a few minutes.

                              Looks like just the ticket for me right now.

                              I'll learn DDT because I should but for now I'll go with EZGUI.

                              ------------------
                              Vikki

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Vikki, PB/CC and PB/DLL have to be my two best purchases this year - i still get those warm fuzzies when I compile tiny, tight, strong standalone apps in PB - it has added a whole new dimension to my programming, and regardless of which you choose I know you will be satisfied!
                                Best of luck,
                                Wayne


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                                -

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Vikki,

                                  I think in the longer term that shifting to PowerBASIC will work for you
                                  in that it gives you a number of ways of coding. Chris has a well accepted
                                  package in EZGUI that makes the shift a lot easier.

                                  You have the option later of using DDT style coding which will give you a
                                  lot of power and when you have been at it for a while, you will find
                                  writing pure API style code starts to become a lot easier.

                                  As I understand, the next version of VB will be .NET based so VB as it is
                                  known now will probably cease to exist which leaves programmers who want
                                  to write general purpose binary programs out in the cold. PowerBASIC are
                                  specialised high performance compilers which have a "sky is the limit"
                                  approach and you have a reasonably flexible range of how you write code.

                                  Shifting to procedural code is a bit of a change but with the tools and
                                  toys available, its not as hard as it used to be if you had to jump into
                                  windows in C like it was in 16 bit windows.

                                  You are welcome to have a play with the code generating tools on my site
                                  but they are pure API style code and may be a bit unfamiliar if you don't
                                  have a background in API code at the moment but its worth noting that
                                  working directly in Windows API calls is a lot easier in a true compiler
                                  than it was in VB as they are just system functions that you use naturally
                                  in PowerBASIC.
                                  http://www.pbq.com.au/home/hutch/pbdll50.htm

                                  Regards,

                                  [email protected]

                                  ------------------
                                  hutch at movsd dot com
                                  The MASM Forum

                                  www.masm32.com

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Steve,
                                    VB7, VC# (VC sharp), and VC++ will all share the same single common runtime library (as opposed to msvbvm60.dll for VB6, msvcrt for VC++ , etc), and yes it can compile exe's, so i don't think VB coders will at all be left in the dark as you put it. If anything, i think it moves VB coders closer to VC++ and C# coders, as there will be a lot of 'intertwining' between the languages, a lot more so than there is already. The .net **** means nothing to me, and it's release is no reason to get rid of VB6, so ... she'll be right
                                    By the way, im certain that I read that you can even create - wait for it - console applications with VB7. Cool huh? (Still needs the runtime though, ******!). Also, VB7 brings polymorphism and "true" object-orientism[tm], so things are looking up
                                    I look forward to adding VB7 to my compiler arsenal, but somehow I think I'll still be using VB6 more than VB7
                                    Either way, i dont think PB can ever replace VB, and I dont think VB can ever replace PB - they've both got big places in my heart! <grin>

                                    Best regards,
                                    Wayne


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                                    *** Edited by Administrator
                                    -

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Vikki;

                                      I think you will be amazed at what EZGUI 1.0 can do in such a small
                                      package. Also I agree with some of Steves sentiments in that EZGUI
                                      is a good starting point, then you can progressively learn DDT and
                                      then later learn pure SDK style coding (API).

                                      EZGUI "encourages" this approach, since it allows easy "integration"
                                      of API functionality in an EZGUI app, so you can "experiment" with
                                      API concepts. The Freeware Visual Designer uses the same file format
                                      for Forms, so some of your smaller apps that don't require all the
                                      functionality can be coded in DDT. Simply use the Forms created
                                      in the EZGUI Visual Designer, load them into the Freeware Designer
                                      and then generate pure DDT code (with no need of a runtime).

                                      Both tools help you learn more about how Windows really works which
                                      prepares you for the last step, of writing pure SDK style apps.

                                      The fact that using PB DLL 6.0 allows "all three" techniques for
                                      writing an app is a real plus. VB doesn't offer a lower level
                                      of programming without runtimes.

                                      Also EZGUI 2.0 (Beta) is already in development and it will add functionality
                                      not even found in VB. Things like WinLift support, Improved Visual
                                      Design engine, autoscaling Forms/controls, Turtle Graphics control,
                                      Drag Handle control, Rich Edit control, Drag List boxes and more.

                                      EZGUI was written using PB DLL (5/6) and could never have
                                      been created without it !



                                      ------------------
                                      Chris Boss
                                      Computer Workshop
                                      Developer of "EZGUI"
                                      http://cwsof.com
                                      http://twitter.com/EZGUIProGuy

                                      Comment


                                      • #20

                                        Wayne,

                                        I'm inclined (with qualifications) to agree with your analysis
                                        of PB vs VB. DDT is excellent for creating small dialogs but
                                        at this point, I don't consider it convenient for large scale
                                        GUI bound apps. Chris's stuff looks pretty good and is closer
                                        to being a good starting point if you are coming over from VB
                                        but I feel it needs a few more features to make it viable as
                                        a general GUI tool.

                                        There are other offerings such as Hutch's and Ed Turner's tools
                                        but they are SDK style and require a working API knowledge base.

                                        Despite its' bloat, lack of speed, bugginess and dependencies,
                                        VB is still the easiest way to create a robust GUI. It is this
                                        factor that is solely responsible for its' popularity.

                                        PB fits very well as the processing engine compliment to VB. You
                                        can code a general dll containing all the neat functions that VB
                                        doesn't have and use it with a VB user interface. For programs
                                        that crunch data, you SHELL/CALL from VB to straight PB for the
                                        processing. It's not a bad set up. (g)

                                        As far as VB7, we're definately not going there. We're still using
                                        VB5 and will do so till 64 bits becomes dominant. By that time, we
                                        figure DDT will be refined enough for general GUI work and we can
                                        drop VB entirely.

                                        As an aside, Eric Pearson has done some marvelous work intermingling the console with graphics. If future versions of Windows support a more consistant console, that route would be worth considering.


                                        Andy Anderson
                                        THREE Systems


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